Ryan Hughes at the University of Amsterdam

I was wonderfully hosted by the University of Amsterdam, was provided with a generous space to work from and made to feel very welcome by research colleagues enabling me to participate in research group meetings and to get a real understanding for the academic and creative work being undertaken from the university.

I used a significant period of time during the secondment meeting artists, curators and funders of contemporary art across the Netherlands and have continued conversations with at least two of these artists around the possibilities of commissioning new work for exhibition in the UK.

I also visited each of the cultural partners’ venues across the Netherlands, seeing an inspiring range of exhibitions, events and public artworks as well as innovative systems designed to support artistic practice.

While visiting these spaces I was able to reflect on public infrastructure, transport, health, wellbeing and public space and observed how cycling is a pivotal feature of Dutch life. This is something that I will continue reflecting on in relation to the UK.

I have continued conversations with academics, artists, curators and funders that I met during the secondment and are planning projects, pieces of work and developing applications for activities that will take place both in the UK and in the Netherlands supporting and continuing significant international, cross-sector exchange.